blair witch viral marketing

17 years later, The Blair Witch Project isn’t just one of the most influential horror movies of all time – it’s a great film, a “found footage” movie that actually feels like an actual lost document. Unlike its often too stylized successors, it’s easy to understand why the original could actually inspire many viewers at the time to wonder if what they were watching was actually real. It’s as vague and incomprehensible as a really unfinished movie cobbled together out of footage shot by a couple of dead kids…which only makes it all the more frightening.

The new film in the series, simply titled Blair Witch, was never go inspire the mania that surrounded the first movie. However, keeping the identity of the film a secret until just two months before its release is the kind of impressive hucksterism that the horror genre needs. Speaking of impressive hucksterism, it looks like the Blair Witch viral marketing has begun in earnest, starting with a creepy YouTube video.

Like a proper piece of viral marketing, the video below contains no studio watermarks or release dates. It’s just creepy camera footage of someone running through a dilapidated series of corridors…or are they being chased?

Here’s the description of the video from uploader Dark Truth301, who seems obsessed with a few infamous disappearances that have occurred over the past few decades in rural Maryland:

WATCH & SHARE THIS BEFORE SOMEONE TAKES IT DOWN AGAIN!

Now that people are starting to wake up and join the search for truth, we felt it time to share one of our darkest secrets. Our friends and fellow hactivists, known as darknet666 (https://darknet666blog.wordpress.com), originally posted this in April 2014 when they found an old dv tape in the Black Hills Forest (Frederick Watershed), Maryland. Within a month, they’d gone missing in those same woods and the video was mysteriously DELETED as part of a COVER-UP. We recently “acquired” the file from our friend’s computer. THIS IS WHAT THE AUTHORITIES DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE.

For the record, the full Blair Witch trailer contains a few snippets of the footage in this video, although it’s not clear if this is a full clip from the movie or not.

Blair Witch, which appears to wisely ignore the ambitious but terrible Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, follows the younger brother of Heather Donahue (the documentary filmmaker who vanished while filming a documentary on a creepy local legend in 1999) as he sets out to uncover exactly what happened to his sister. We can safely assume that he uncovers a little too much. While original directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez aren’t behind the camera on this one, director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett are fine replacements – You’re Next and The Guest are both smart, sharp, vicious delights. Our own Fred Topel had kind things to say about the film from its Comic-Con premiere. 

Blair Witch arrives in theaters on September 16, 2016. Heres the official synopsis:

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

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